AdWords vs SEO

I’ve been holding on to this  “AdWords vs SEO” post for a while now, but I have no reason for keeping them to myself. First, I will give you a heads-up on the cash people are prepared to pay for showing up on Google AdWords. Second I will tell you how Google is making money and how website owners are really making money with Google Adsense. Third I will tell you something that only a small percentage of people know, something like a needle in a haystack.

Then we discuss AdWords vs SEO. So, let’s start with AdWords. It is the biggest source of income that slowed down only during the global pandemic. But this was only a bump in the road, as they hit records again this year (2021) in the 2nd quarter.

Most expensive keywords in Adwords

Most expensive keywords in Adwords

The infographic from above is a bit old but still relevant. Google’s cloud revenue is estimated at around $4.4 billion, but still a minority compared to Google AdWords. So let’s see where this infographic can take us.

Some keywords in AdWords are really expensive

It all started with a great Techcrunch article and infographic that showed the “Top 20 most expensive keywords in Google Adwords Advertising“. In that infographic, you can see that the top 20 categories are: insurance, loans, mortgage, attorney, credit, lawyer, etc… I was shocked to see that some of the keywords cost up to 50$, even 60$ per click. PER CLICK! So I logged into AdWords and wanted to see the prices for myself. I opened the “keyword tool” under the “tools and analysis,” and so I selected the most expensive (according to the infographic) – insurance. Back then I saw the prices go up to 60$ per click per keyword. This sounds to me like the biggest money factory of all time.

For the purpose of this blog post, I repeated the action. Today I got 632 keywords and key phrases (relevant to insurance).  Since I am into domaining, bulk domain checkers, etc – it got me curious. I wanted to check the 632 keywords that I exported from the AdWords keyword tool. I checked,, and all other 632 keywords. Only .com no dashes (-) just words and .coms. I used WhoAPI’s massive domain availability API to… find out… that all 632 keywords were registered!


Yes, companies register exact match domains for their AdWords campaigns. With that, let’s get something out of the way. EMD stands for exact match domains. Here’s an example, is an EMD compared to The EMD must consist only of keywords, whereas is a brandable domain.

PBNs, on the other hand, have nothing to do with keywords or domains. It’s a private blog network (public blog network), which is a network of websites created in order to get more backlinks to a website.

Now, let’s get back to the central topic of our small article, of comparing SEO vs AdWords.

With this research, we can conclude that companies register exact match domains for either one of these 3 reasons.

  1. To sell it later
  2. Advertise on Google AdWords
  3. For SEO, maybe even as a PBN (public blog network)

If you have a great idea to start a new business or create a new product, you must create a good website so that your clients can easily access what you have to offer. Most first-time entrepreneurs are struggling with the first step – how to choose a good (domain) name?

Do not worry, you’re not alone. Today when there are hundreds of millions of already registered domain names, it is very difficult to choose a quality and simple domain that will be usable. And by usable, I mean both search engines and humans. So, when choosing a domain for your website or business, it is very important that it meets some basic standards that will help you in SEO, search engine optimization, and Google AdWords.

SEO vs AdWords or SEO & AdWords

This post is centered around making a decision if you should pursue SEO or AdWords. Why not do both? Having a paid acquisition channel can do wonders for your business if you have the funnel set up properly. Let’s keep discussing what both AdWords and SEO can do for you, and maybe you will also decide to improve both.

AdWords vs SEO

AdWords vs SEO

Some basic differences between SEO and AdWords:

  • SEO targets high-traffic keywords mentioned on your website.
  • AdWords targets numerous variations that you have around particular keywords.
  • The SEO process on a website takes time before seeing optimum results.
  • AdWords runs on sites that register for Google Ads, the Google search engine, and on Google Affiliate Sites.
  • SEO optimizes the site’s position, moving it up the ranks, ultimately moving it to the 1st page on Google.
  • With AdWords, the client pays for each click a visitor makes on their advertisement, which could be costly.
  • With SEO the client does not pay for each click, it is rather a monthly cost that an SEO company does for you to work on your website to get it to the first page of Google’s search results and other search engines.
  • AdWords is a rapid method of generating your leads and bringing website visitors to your website
  • If an AdWords client stops paying for the placement of their ad, their ad is pulled immediately.
  • If SEO is stopped, the ranking of their website decreases over a period of time. Moving their site
    down the ranks, from a ranking first to eventually dropping out of everybody’s sight on the second page.

What is better for my company?

It depends. This can best be determined by an analysis of what you sell. Organic SEO is usually an expensive and time-consuming process. Although this can lead to significant payment and an excellent return on investment, organic SEO will usually require a high monthly investment, or a lot of time, if it is done in-house.

In addition, organic SEO takes time to bear fruit. It is not uncommon for an organic campaign to start delivering results only after six months (or more) of hard work. SEO is a marathon, not a sprint.

When it comes to Google advertising, there are some distinct advantages of its own. AdWords campaign can be up and running in 24 hours or less. In addition, it can be started with a much smaller budget. For this reason, AdWords can be a great program for smaller organizations or companies with lower budgets. AdWords is highly customizable, allowing advertisers to quickly tweak, experiment with, and optimize campaigns on the fly.

Problems with AdWords & SEO:

Many keyword-heavy domains are taken, as we have demonstrated in the research at the beginning of this article. Out of 632 keywords in the most expensive niche on AdWords (insurance), all were registered as domain names.

So it’s obvious a lot of AdWords experts are using particular domain names for their AdWords strategies to get the edge against the competition. If you are not doing it, start now.

Some basic tips when choosing a domain name are:

  • Short – easy to type
  • Memorable – you will build your brand faster and easier
  • .com – recommended if you plan to sell your products / services internationally
  • Easy to type – no space for typing mistakes

On the same note, try to avoid:

  • Long domains stuffed with keywords – it will not help for better positioning
  • Multi-term domain names – hard to remember, the possibility of errors
  • Numbers and special characters etc.

Research your keywords

You need to do your homework and see if your idea can get a domain that it’s good for SEO. Enter the keywords that you think are the best choice and see if it is really so using the Google Keyword Planner.

It is this research with Keyword Planner that is necessary to look for keywords that are balanced in these terms:

Global Monthly Searches – this will help you to see how popular the keyword is, and how many people are searching for that keyword with the approximation of each month. The larger the number, the more chances you have to get a large amount of traffic to your website.

CPC – it will tell you what the average cost per click for the keyword in AdWords is. This is important because of the high converting keywords are really expensive and those words with a high CPC is likely to give visitors that relate to your business and convert better.

Competition – This information will tell you how difficult it is to rank for a particular keyword. With high competition, you will have a really hard time trying to rank higher in the search engines, they look for high and low competition.

After you determine some quality keywords to verify the domain, you can use our domain checker, which allows you to quickly and easily check whether the requested domain is free.

Domain Checker

Domain Checker (discontinued in August 2022)

After checking the “check domains” button, the domain checker will show you available domains for chosen keywords, and that’s it. The only thing that’s left to do is to choose a domain registry to register the best domain for your business.

What about SEO?

Well, with SEO, you are optimizing your website for the search engine. There’s a lot of on-page optimization, and you have to make sure that Google’s crawlers understand your website properly. SEO is not something you “set and forget it.” Which each new content published on your website, you have to do keyword research and hope (or work) that other websites will start to link to this content you just published.

Sometimes it takes months to reach the first page for a keyword you are optimizing for. And sometimes a Google update puts you back on page 5, where you started months ago. So why do it? Well, in a best-case scenario, you are ranked first for a keyword that brings you a steady stream of potential clients. Sometimes these clients bring in a sizeable revenue that helps you finance the SEO campaign.

When it comes to AdWords vs SEO, I say do both!



Goran Duskic has been the Founder and CEO of WhoAPI Inc. since 2011, a company that specializes in developing APIs, including the well-known Whois API. He started his career in internet entrepreneurship in 2006 and has co-founded several online businesses, including a web hosting company that he later sold. Goran's work primarily involves creating practical API solutions to meet technological needs.


  1. Joshua Martinez says:

    The most valuable use of AdWords for SEO is to research keywords. Keywords are the basis of any SEO campaign and even if you are an expert in your niche, you should always research keywords simply because users frequently search for quite unexpected keywords and keyphrases you as an expert will never think of.

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